Importance of Arts in the School Curriculum 1
IMPORTANCEOF ARTS IN THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
IMPORTANCEOF ARTS IN THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Inmy endeavors as an art teacher, I have seen the role of arts in thelives of children in their early childhood. Art is very crucial inthe learning process, and as such it is imperative it is supportedfrom the early lives of children. Additionally, it helps children tothink critically and analyze their lives by boosting theirconfidence. In the quest to alienate art from other programs in theschool curriculum, we should remember that it plays a vital role ascompared to mathematical and scientific studies. Art is a criticalheritage because it measures and reflects our civilization (Kenney,2004. pp.28). Music education is imperative as it aids and cutsacross all nations. Politicians should, therefore, work on makinglegislation that favor art in schools as it is a unifying subject. Reduction of art is a consequence of poor funding from the state. Asa teacher, I advocate for the promotion of this subject for allchildren in their early childhood.
Figure1: Painting materials in class
Anexperience in art allows children make informed decisions in future.It helps the young kids decipher the complexities of the world welive in. When art is cut off from the national curriculum, futurecreative thinkers and innovators are removed from society. Music,theater, dance and visual arts are about joy and enriching the livesof children.
TheReggio Emilia approach has its origins in Italy whereby teachersobserve what children are curious about, and the challenges they faceso as to seek methods to expand their social and academic capabilityin and out of the classroom. Being a teacher, I am aware that artaids in expanding a child’s cognitive development by culturallyadapting to new situations. This essay will focus more on ReggioEmilia’s approach to teaching children (Vecchi, 2010 pp. 32).
Visualarts are forms of expressing ideas and opinions specifically forvisual comprehension. They comprise of drawings, paintings,assemblages, collages, mosaic art, tattoo art, body and face paintingand photography. According to Reggio Emilia approach, art is theselected medium to represent children’s thinking.
Importanceof Visual Art
Motorcoordination in children is a difficult concept to grasp. Children ata young age explore what they can make materials since their learningincludes lots of physical activities. Children quickly operate thingsthat they have a firm grip on and are easy to maneuver. Art motivateschildren to work on their muscles, eye, and hand coordination. Thesemake them passionate about what they have been involved in.
Artmakes children notice things that they previously considerednon-existent. Children will make changes to what they see. Childawareness is enhanced after analyzing things from a different vantagepoint. Geometrical skills are improved, and they learn as well asexperiment with new concepts. Children get to create solutions toproblems, organize their thoughts and further reflect what they havestudied. Their perceptions are made better as the brain gives moremeaning to what they have learned.
Artisticchildren are capable of using their imaginations to acquire numeroussolutions. They are in future able to be innovative and adapt to anycircumstance. Art enables them to take control of situations due tothe daily interactions and divergent thinking. Through art, childrenget to know the types of objects that are in existence. They furtherlearn how to cope with criticism and praise.
1.4Emotional and Social Development
Visualart makes children express what they could not express before. Thismakes children confident and successful due to the ability tocommunicate what they could not initially express. Art is therapeuticto them as they can relieve previous experiences. Children feel thatthey are in control because they can easily converse with others.Moreover, they learn how to appreciate different cultures as well asrecognize how people perceive things and how they can createsomething different and unique in collaboration. They learn how tonegotiate and appreciate divergent views and make independentdecisions due to the self-control.
Dramais whereby children are given roles to act out. The children aregiven tasks to emulate and made to believe their roles arelegitimate. According to the Reggio Emilia platform, communication iscritical in the development of a child. It assists the learners todialogue and exchange ideas.
Emotionaland Social Development
Indrama, children learn to corporate and negotiate on roles so as tolater enact them. Children get to deal with emotional fears that gohand in hand with the experiences enacted. Drama helps children to becompassionate as they play roles that reflect what others go through(Eckhoff, 2008, pp.179). They learn to interact with their peers.Children who participate in drama are not aggressive since they knowhow to manage their impulses properly. Feeling of self-esteem andpride in what they accomplish escalates. Children learn to handledisappointments and work out incomprehensible issues later in life.Drama helps children to develop and nurture relationships by the waythey interact, laugh and learn.
Figure2: Children in a Drama class
Dramahelps children to establish and strengthen their motor andcoordination techniques. Strength and fitness also improve when theytake on roles that involve exercise.
Childrenuse drama to recall past experiences as they are implored to thinkcritically. They develop academically, solve problems and shareideas. They also learn to handle situations from diverseperspectives.
Childrenlearn to converse so as to explain what they do. Their vocabulariesgrow as they learn to make use of new terminology. They learn toquestion what they do due to use of new vocabularies.
Musicmakes young children dialogue about what they hear. Playing aninstrument makes children converse without using words. Teachers usemusic in the classroom for memorizing purposes. Music makes childrenenjoy education as it is an engaging mode of conversation. It makesthe young brain organize ideas (Hallam, 2010 pp. 269). Music helpschildren to interact with people from diverse backgrounds because ittranscends all boundaries. The approach used a term “hundredlanguages of children” to highlight the numerous ways through whichchildren think, revise, construct, and verbally express theirthoughts and feelings.
Musictrains the young mind to think critically.
Singing,maintaining rhythms and playing musical instruments aid in creating ahealthy body.
Musicis a way children express themselves. It is emotional and aids invoicing out the intent of heart and any other kind of feelings.
Musicaids in language development in children because it helps them decodesounds and words. It helps children to decipher words verbally and beproficient. Music raises children’s intellectual capabilitiessince they use their brains more than other children who do notpractice music.
Benefitsof Arts Education in the School Curriculum
Artwas traditionally connected to people perceived to be educated asmost philosophers were artistic in nature. Art makes children usetheir experiences to transform what they encounter into new, creativeand imaginative ideas. This is because their minds are innovative andinventive, and they can make good use of what they see, createconnections and forge relationships. Their creativity and imaginationare boosted due to what they know, the memories they have andfantasies. Children express ideas in the form of pictures, and thatis how they communicate their feelings to others. The pictures canbe therapeutic and at the same time help them store previous memoriesand create new ideas. Children can use pictures to remind themselvesof past memories either sad or happy, to express their concerns(Barrett, 2003, pp.45).
Figure3: Teacher and student in an Art class
Numbersand words make children decipher what the words and figures are.Pictures visually stimulate children to understand things that are inthe school curriculum. This makes children appreciate the world andinterpret what they study. Art makes them more observant and detailedin life due to the visual nature and sensitivity of art. Childrenbecome analytical, explore new ideas and practically test the ideas. Artistic children are persistent and can concentrate on the picturesthey help create. Children can solve problems quickly from the visualoutlook that art provides for them. Art has the capability ofbuilding the confidence and self-esteem of children as only thechildren can interpret what the image entails and what itcommunicates. It aids in increasing teamwork and concentration aswell as improving test scores in children. It also helps children toappreciate aesthetics in its original form since they learn toverbally and non-verbally communicate using symbols and visuals.
Children’sPerception of Art
Artinspires children to think critically, observe and translate theirthoughts into a decipherable language. By just watching an image,they can create various perspectives of the picture. Children canlook at a picture make a detailed analysis and support theirfindings. They perceive the world as it is and they can be able tocritically question what they see, why they see it that way, and whatmore they can find out about the situation. Since the world isconstantly undergoing change, the upcoming generation has to learnnot only to interpret figures but also be able to interpret anythingthat is aesthetically created. Artistic children can look at animage, react to it and understand it. They can mentally and visuallyanalyze what they view and give a deeper meaning of what theydecipher (Kenney,2004,pp.17).
Artdoes not need prior knowledge, and so every observations andinterpretations are right. This makes children learn from one anotherand analyze things from a different angle. It also makes shy studentscontribute without fear. They learn to respond to the ideas of theirpeers and give different opinions. Their responses to art are ofsurprises, challenges, and entertainment. This is the naturalability to appreciate art in its original form. Children who studytake note of colors, shapes, lines and contours thereby making theirperception of things three-dimensional. The cultural and personaldevelopment of children is enhanced through experience, imagination,and creativity (Vecchi,2010 pp. 31). They can pursue their curiosity and express what they cannot putinto words. Art in school determines the future of young people andhow they will be creative in the workplace.
Artis crucial in the development of children and teachers should findways to make it appealing, fun-filled and enjoyable. We can usereproductions of art in classrooms to support the learning process.We can take children to art museums to pique their interests in thesubject matter. They ought to be given a wide range of materials touse. Fun-filled art activities for children should not be dictated inany way as they should be allowed to explore their options so as toenhance the creative process. As teachers, we should minimizeinterruptions. Art should be made a fun-filled experience full ofsupported ideas. We should support their ideas musically,dramatically and visually. The Reggio Emilia approach laid greatemphasis on the roles if teachers in promoting art. Some of theresponsibilities identified included conducting research, gatheringdata as well as contributing to the learning capacity of thechildren.
Reasonsto Include Art in Early Childhood Education Curriculum:
1.It makes children thrive in learning through the engagement ofnumerous senses that aid in memory retention.
2.Art learning stimulates all areas of the brain for children.
3.Art makes children yearn for the school thereby making thelearning experience exciting.
Reasonsfor Teaching Arts
1.Children stay in school because of arts since it build theirconfidence.
2.Art makes children adopt proper attitudes and behaviors throughpersistence and patience.
3.Art boosts creativity which is an important aspect in this dynamicworld.
4.Art enables children to observe critically, analyze and synthesizedifferent perspectives.
5.Art makes children properly manipulate numbers and measurements.
6.Art enhances teamwork to achieve excellent performance.
7.Art makes passion and interests to develop and grow into talents
Inmy observation as a teacher, music, drama and visual art aidschildren to develop physically, mentally and emotionally. Their I.Qlevels rise tremendously due to the positive impact that art has ontheir lives. When I teach children a song, they quickly memorize it,and they sing it whether in the confines of a classroom or not(Dumais, 2006, pp. 37). Visual arts make them anticipate studyingand eager to come back to school (Wood& Attfield, 2005, pp. 43).Art makes education interesting to them, and this makes themintelligent because I use art to teach them the daily occurrences oflife.
Figure4: Teacher and a child in an art class
Inconclusion, art related activities should be given top-notch priorityin the current school curriculum because they help children developphysical, social, cognitive, and emotional skills that they willrequire in life. It makes children grow up as responsible citizenswho can respect other people’s diversity and opinions. Thegovernment should create legislation that acknowledges the study ofart in schools. Art should be made a mandatory subject in earlychildhood and avoid much focus on mathematical and scientificsubjects (Hennessy, 1995, pp.38). The media should create awarenessto familiarize people with art and its significance. Art as adiscipline should be appreciated by each and every individual as ittraverses all borders makes people from different geographical areasspeak the same language. By focusing on the Reggio Emilia approachone can establish the universal rule that for that for art toeffectively contribute to the lives of the young ones, they shouldnot be hurried.
Barrett,M 2003, ‘Musical children, musical lives, musical worlds’, in SWright (ed.), Children meaning making and the art, Pearson Education,Frenchs Forest, NSW, pp. 63–89.
Dumais,S.A., 2006. Early childhood cultural capital, parental habitus, andteachers’ perceptions. Poetics, 34(2),pp.83-107.
Eckhoff,A. and Urbach, J., 2008. Understanding imaginative thinking duringchildhood: Sociocultural conceptions of creativity and imaginativethought.EarlyChildhood Education Journal, 36(2),pp.179-185.
Hallam,S., 2010. The power of music: Its impact on the intellectual, socialand personal development of children and young people. InternationalJournal of Music Education, 28(3),pp.269-289.
Hennessy,S 1995, ‘Listening’, Music 7-11: developing primary teachingskills, Routledge, London, pp. 38–49.
Kenney,S., 2004. The importance of music centers in the early childhoodclass. GeneralMusic Today, 18(1),pp.28-28.
Vecchi,V., 2010. Artand creativity in Reggio Emilia: Exploring the role and potential ofateliers in early childhood education.Routledge.
Wood,E. and Attfield, J., 2005. Play,learning and the early childhood curriculum.Sage.